Balancing the Grind with Tom McQuillen, Principal at ReGen Ventures

Tom McQuillen is the Principal at ReGen Ventures, a VC company backing founders daring to build the companies that will restore the planet.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I started my career in management consulting before taking a detour to run an environmental NGO in Nicaragua. I then worked in product and growth roles at startups such as Yume and Prolific before attending graduate school at Oxford, where I did my MBA.

I’m now a Principal in the investment team at ReGen Ventures, where we partner with founders daring to build the companies that will restore our planet. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

ReGen is a global VC firm so typically in the morning I’m meeting with our team members in the US or climate-tech founders who are sharing their vision for the world.

During the middle of the day I might have some internal meetings, but mostly I have time for self-directed work such as supporting our portfolio companies, doing due diligence on potential opportunities, or researching a new climate technology. In the afternoons and evenings I’ll catch up with founders or investors in the UK and Europe. 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

ReGen is probably the most incredible company I’ve worked at in this regard. We get full support to be flexible and work remotely when required. I’m currently home visiting family and working remotely.

We are empowered to set our schedule in the way that best allows us to achieve our goals and support the founders we partner with. This means if we have team meetings early in the morning and board meetings at night, we might take some time in the afternoon to surf and refresh.

Venture capital is an extremely long-term business, and I feel so lucky to work with great colleagues who understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and that we all know how to get the best out of ourselves. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

For me, work-life balance is about prioritising my time so that I can achieve my professional and personal goals. We have individual growth plans that highlight both work and non-work goals for the year.

I think that work-life balance is important in terms of making sure that you are physically, mentally and emotionally ready to give your best both at home and work. I truly believe that flexibility is the key here, a ‘swings and roundabouts’ mindset as opposed to any hard lines. 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

I’ve relocated to the beach, so now I’m able to surf three to four times a week. This has been incredible as I find it’s a state of meditation and flow, as well as a great way to get your body moving. 

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

How to be Idle is a great book to give you a funny perspective on work-life balance. I also really enjoy James Clear’s 3-2-1 weekly newsletter. 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

My Kindle. 

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

Mike Moritz.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.